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Review: The Powerful CHERNOBYL Embraces Subtlety Over Spectacle - Movies In Focus
Writer Craig Mazin’s Chernobyl is something of a subtle masterpiece. This five-part series about one of mankind’s greatest disasters could have gone down the tried and tested disaster movie road, throwing well worn tropes at viewers as a way of story-telling shorthand. However, this Sky Atlantic/HBO produced series swerves away from that easy option, instead delivering a powerful and thought-provoking tale which embraces characterisation. Charting the events immediately before and after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power-plant disaster, the Johan Renck directed series looks at key characters who played pivotal roles in the clean-up operation. Stellan Skarsgård, Jared Harris and Emily Watson lead the cast (alongside around 87% of the supporting actors from Game Of Thrones) , delivering low-key but fascinating performances that offer up an emotional anchor to something which is incredibly difficult to fathom. Eschewing flashy visuals Renck’s direction is filled with a coolness, ditching brash sound-effects for an eerie quietness which permeates throughout, something which makes the onscreen action even more unsettling. It plays out like something from a post apocalyptic thriller of a zombie movie, but the shocking thing is that not only is the threat very real – but that this actually happened. Each episode moves the [...]